Power dressing has evolved throughout the decades, with each era putting a fresh spin to it. We give you the lowdown on this trend and how to pull it off in 2021. By Mughni Che Din
WHAT IS POWER DRESSING?
The term “power dressing” was coined in America in the late ‘70s –at the start economic boom— when more women emerged as key players in the workforce, this method of dressing became a way to emulate the masculine energy that was thought to be related to executive success.
Power dressing back in the late ‘70s
POP CULTURE AND THE RISE OF POWER DRESSING
The concept of power dressing was made popular thanks to pop culture. John T. Molloy’s manuals ‘Dress for Success’ and ‘The Woman’s Dress for Success Book’ became a bible for women in the ‘80s on how to make an empowering impression upon entering a hyper masculine workforce, by offering a guideline on how women should dress to acquire authority and respect.
‘Dress for Success’ and ‘The Woman’s Dress for Success Book’ by John T. Molloy
THE PIONEERS OF POWER DRESSING
From Margaret Thatcher, Joan Collins, Princess Diana, Cate Blanchett to Victoria Beckham, these women are recognized for their iconic take to power dressing:
From left: Margaret Thatcher, Princess Diana, Cate Blanchett and Victoria Beckham.
POWER DRESSING IN 2021
The ongoing conversation of the intertwining masculine and feminine styles into one garment paved way for the future. In that regard, power dressing today looks a lot different than it once did. Although you will still spot women donning power suits, more and more office dresscodes are becoming more casual as women no longer need to wear powerful-looking clothes to earn respect in the office or society. Therefore, power dressing does not have to include shoulder pads to make us look more like a man. It’s all about taking inspiration from everywhere and everything. In wearing whatever makes us feel like we've stepped into our power, on a daily basis.
Power dressing on the streets of Fashion Week.
Here, A-JANE shares a few tips on how to recreate your own power look to reflect the most powerful version of yourself.
1. THROW ON A BLAZER!
There is something so commanding about a woman wearing a well-tailored blazer. When it comes to styling, the blazer is no longer considered an office attire but a wardrobe staple that can level up any outfit.
2. EXPERIMENT WITH COLOURS
Just because you are power dressing doesn’t mean you need to shy away from colours! Sure, a head-to-toe neutral hued ensemble great if you are planning on playing it safe. Consider experimenting with bright vibrant hues to really let your personality shine.
3. LET IT LOOSE
Power dressing in the 21st century calls for loungy and comfortable shape and silhouette. Take style cues from the Scandinavians when it comes to menswear-inspired styling. Keep it loose and slouchy for a look that imbues nonchalant allure.
4. THINK MONOCHROMATIC
When in doubt, think monochrome. Sticking to one colour tone or print will help to streamline your look and make you look polished.
5. BE WELL-GROOMED
Always make it mandatory point to be well-groomed. Power dressing, as the name suggests its all about exuding power and a fearless attitude. Keeping your hair tidy and putting on some make up will help make you feel and look confident.